Below is the second part of Seneca III’s review of the writings of Guillaume Faye. Part 1 is here.
To Chaos and Beyond — Faye, on Fate and Futurism
Part II — Convergence of Catastrophes
by Seneca III
“For the first time in history, humanity is threatened by a convergence of catastrophes.” is the opening line of Faye’s ‘Foreword’, and a point upon which I would beg to differ. It has happened before, at least once, as I will attempt to illustrate later in this essay and, again, in Part III, although there from a very different perspective.
Beyond that singular line he proceeds to briefly iterate the main themes of his thesis, and does so in a far better and more lucid way than any attempt of mine could hope to match, never mind excel. Hence I have quoted a selection from his opening paragraphs below.
‘Convergence of Catastrophes’ is also a slimmer volume than either ‘Why We Fight’ or ‘Archeofuturism’. The core of the book consists of just four, albeit substantial, chapters and a Conclusion, the latter being principally a review with extensive qualification of certain points or statements raised throughout the main text. Faye also touched on these themes again in the Foreword under the sub-heading ‘Believing in Miracles’.
The chapter headings may be found beneath the Foreword.
Clytemnestra: “Yea, the law of Zeus is, wisdom by suffering, for soberness of thought comes to men who do not wish for it. First men are emboldened by ill-counselled foolish frenzy which begins their trouble…What is to come of it, no man knows; yet it is useless to lament the issue before it comes, as come it will, clear as the light of day.”
Aeschylus — from ‘Agamemnon’, the first in his trilogy of plays entitled the ‘Oresteia’. In Greek mythology (The Odyssey, 11.409-11) Agamemnon was the younger son of Atreus who, following his father’s death, ruled Mycenae and led the Greek forces at the Siege of Troy.
For the first time in history, humanity is threatened by a convergence of catastrophes.
A series of ‘dramatic’ lines are approaching one another and converging like a river’s tributaries with perfect accord (between 2010 and 2020) towards a breaking point and a descent into chaos. From this chaos — which will be extremely painful on a global scale — can emerge the new order. Let us first summarise the nature of these lines of enquiry.
The first is the cancerisation of the European social fabric. The colonisation of the northern hemisphere for purposes of permanent settlement by peoples of the global South, which is increasingly serious despite the reassuring affirmations of the media, is pregnant with explosive situations: the failure of the multi-racial society, increasingly full of racism of all kinds with different communities becoming more and more tribal; the progressive ethnic and anthropological metamorphosis of Europe, a true historical cataclysm…All this indicates to us is that the European nations are heading towards a New Middle Ages.
(Secondly — SIII) But these factors of social breakdown in Europe will be aggravated by the economic and demographic crisis which will only get worse and end by producing mass poverty… Besides these problems, the economy will increasingly resemble the Third World because of the uncontrolled immigration of unskilled populations.
Modernity’s third dramatic line of catastrophe will be the chaos of the global South. By displacing their traditional cultures with industrialisation, the nations of the South, in spite of a deceptive and fragile economic growth, have created social chaos that is only going to get worse.
The fourth line of catastrophe, which has recently been described by Jacques Attali, is the threat of a world financial crisis, which will be much more serious than the crisis of the 1930s and will bring about a general recession. The harbinger of the crisis will be the collapse of the stock markets and currencies of the Far East, like the recession that is striking this region at the present.
The fifth line of catastrophe is the rise of fanatical religious cults, principally Islam. The rise of radical Islam is the backlash to the excesses of the cosmopolitanism of modernity that wanted to impose on the entire world the model of atheist individualism, the cult of material goods, the loss of spiritual values and the dictatorship of the spectacle. In reaction to this aggression, Islam has radicalised, just as it was already becoming once again a religion of domination and conquest, in conformity with its traditions. (my bold — S III)
The sixth line: a North-South confrontation, with theological and ethnic routes, will appear on the horizon… No one knows what form it will take, but it will be serious, because it will be based on collective challenges and sentiments much stronger than the old and artificial partisan polarity of the United States and the Soviet Union, Capitalism and Communism.
The seventh line of catastrophe is the uncontrolled increase of pollution, which will not threaten the Earth (because the Earth still has four billion years to look forward to and can start evolution over again from zero) but the physical survival of humanity. This collapse of the environment is the fruit of the liberal and egalitarian myth (which was once also a Soviet myth) of universal industrial development and a dynamic economy for everyone.
We can add to all this the probable implosion of the European Union, which is increasingly ungovernable, the risks involved with nuclear proliferation in the Third World, and the probability of ethnic civil war in Europe.
The convergence of these factors in the heart of a globalised and very fragile situation allows us to predict that the Twenty-first century will not be the ‘progressive’ continuation of the contemporary world, but the rise of another world. We must prepare ourselves for this tragic possibility with lucidity.
|1.||It is worth noting that this book was first published, in French, in 2004, therefore it is difficult for us, a decade later, to determine the accuracy of this time frame — or by how much it will be extended or reduced by short-lived mitigating or accelerating factors — other than by tracking and analysing events as they unfold, but I have little doubt that the proposition in general is correct, and I have chosen his time frame, roughly 2010-2020, as the basis for my conclusions.|
|2.||And the political classes, the chattering classes and so many of those sinecured, analytically blind peddlers of disinformation now to be found in academia polluting the fine minds of our younger generations.|
|3.||Jacques Attali is a French economist. His article ‘The Crash of Western Civilisation: The Limits of the Market and Democracy’ as published in the ‘American Journal of Foreign Policy’, Summer 1977 edition, is probably what Faye was referring to.|
|4.||To my mind ‘Radical Islam’ is just Islam with all restraints removed. It is arguable that permitting, indeed inviting it to enter, en masse, into our collective house at this point in its retrograde evolution is one of the great crimes of history.
Chapter 1 — Toward the Collapse of the Terrestrial Ecosystem
Chapter 2 — Toward the Clash of Civilisations
Chapter 3 — Toward Chaos in Europe
Chapter 4 — Toward a Giant Economic Crisis
and Conclusion: A New Middle Ages
Faye’s conclusion appears to be an extended analysis of and an elaboration on his prior hypotheses as briefly presented in the Foreword, and I will forego the temptation to quote from them here. However they did promote in me a faint, nagging suspicion that at this point he took a deep breath and sat back as he realised the full import of these hypotheses which, collectively, became a very viable but disturbing thesis. Perhaps this is why his Conclusion contains several detailed qualifications on points raised and statements made in the main text, and which he may have felt were open to misinterpretation; it is almost as if he had been emotionally overwhelmed as the full implications of his analysis sank in… as happened to me when I first looked into it, and as you the reader may also react — we are all human in the end; otherwise we would not have put ourselves into this position in the first place.
Convergence has happened before — Feudalism and Plague
Even before the full onset of the turmoil of the 14th century, agriculture and animal husbandry were in a state of stasis; it was a condition that was invisible, indeed incomprehensible, to those trapped within it because of a collective inability to depart from long established traditions and the draconian social order so established, which effectively precluded them from looking beyond their immediate environs into a different future.
At that time life was cheap and short, the average natural life span of a Serf was not much over forty years, and high infant mortality and other deaths from a variety of causes were the ordained norm. It was accepted that crops and the relatively small amount of livestock then husbanded (mainly pigs, chickens and rabbits) were inevitably subject to the vagaries of weather, of diseases and to predation by wildlife from the extensive forests which then surrounded the cleared, labour intensive fields and pastures. Medical practices had advanced little during the Middle Ages; herbicides, biocides and inorganic fertilisers were unknown, and hardship and famine were not unusual; they were simply seen as acts of God over which mere mortals had no control, leaving only the option of prayer and supplication.
Consequently there had been little change in farming practices over the preceding millennia, in the 9,000 to 11,000 years since we made the transition from hunter gatherers to farmers and herdsmen, that seminal movement in human history which began when we first built permanent structures on or near arable land beyond the often exhausted hinterlands of our ancestor’s cave dwellings, or the temporary shelters of our other forebears, the nomadic foragers.
Agriculture was thus trapped in a time warp where any attempt to increase food production eventuated in very little surplus because output was solely dependent upon indentured manpower and thus any increase in output would require a corresponding increase in the agricultural labour force, the Serfs. It is also possible that the overlords of the time suspected that that the Serfs, then in far larger numbers, would become, by necessity, the prime consumers of the increased production.
Also, I would suggest, such a large and growing demographic could constitute a possible mass threat to the hierarchy of the day. This hierarchy was, effectively, a closed system established to serve the power lifestyle and indulgent privileges of the ruling classes. Consequently feudal societies were seriously lacking in cultural innovation because there was no incentive, nor obvious advantage, in allowing or promoting meaningful change or development — other than in arms and armour — provided of course that they, the ruling class, were able to maintain their personal comforts and a high enough level of manpower from which they could levy auxiliaries when needed in defence of their sinecures.
|5.||Readers may wish to draw some parallels with much that defines our situation today, although of course not in a purely techno-scientific sense.
Early in the 14th century a lethal bacterium, Yersinia pestis, escaped from its ancestral breeding grounds on the High Plains of Central Asia and began a migration, a diaspora that would have fatal consequences for the rest of Asia, the Indian sub-continent, the Middle East and, finally, Europe. It would, in due course, change the direction and structure of human socio-political organisation forever (perhaps), and it has been known ever since as the ‘Black Death’ — or ‘Atra Mors & Mors Nigra’ as it was referred to in medieval texts written during the hundred or so years following its passing.
This was a pandemic of epic proportions. It is estimated to have caused between 30-60 million deaths in Europe alone (it even struck as far north as Iceland and the Eurasian sub-arctic) and far more in Asia, the Middle East and on the Indian sub-continent, although the Antipodes, Oceania and the Americas escaped infection as a result of their physical isolation far from the epicentre. Carried (vectored) by oriental rat fleas living on black rats the pestilence spread by land and sea at an unprecedented rate for its time, and arrived in the Crimea in 1343, spreading throughout Europe thereafter and peaking in the years 1346-53.
Feudalism → x ← Black Death ↓ CHAOS
The aftermath of this unanticipated convergence of two catastrophes, one sessile and one motile, was chaos, and it created a series of economic, religious and social upheavals, including the end of feudalism. Again it is worth noting that it was not until one hundred and fifty years later that populations managed to return to pre-Plague levels and during this time one event in England encapsulated the causes and eventual outcome of these upheavals there and throughout Europe.
First and foremost feudalism was an economic system based upon customs and laws concerning obligations, obligations that required total obedience on the part of the Serfs and, to varying degrees, those other classes in the social strata that sat between them and their ultimate masters. However, in England after the Death, and elsewhere throughout feudal society, manpower was in very short supply, critically short, particularly in the labour intensive agricultural sector, and this is where the truism that different modes of production are the product of different circumstances made its appearance.
…“That workers were able to imitate their superiors by demanding — and receiving — better food and drink was in no small measure due to the greatest natural catastrophe to befall the Middle Ages. The first outbreak of the great plague…
…What is more, farming on a larger scale had become much more common, with entrepreneurial individuals building up substantial estates dedicated to animal husbandry which was less labour intensive than growing crops to eat and produced meat, hides and the all-important wool upon which so much of the nations’ wealth depended. It was no coincidence that the (late) fourteenth century saw a transformation in the diet of the English lower classes from one composed mainly of cheap cereals, beans and pulses with coarse black bread (made from Rye or Barley) and the occasional flitch of bacon to one with a high proportion of meat, particularly beef and mutton, and bread made from wheat. Though domestically brewed small beer with its low alcohol content remained a household staple, the demand for professionally brewed strong ale also increased: manorial officials at one Sussex manor in 1354 had to buy in ale to replace the cider it normally offered to its reapers because the reeve in charge ‘would not drink anything but ale in the whole of the harvest time’.”
|6.||Not counting subsequent deaths from starvation, armed conflict and a vulnerability to other disease caused by malnutrition. There was, however, one significant exception to the worst effects of this near mass extinction which will be explored in Part III.
[Caveat: Whilst I have not gone so far as to directly categorise Islam as a pathogenic microbial in the mould of Y. pestis, there are some disturbing parallels between their respective epidemiologies: both have made several incursions into Europe and now the West in general —Y. pestis in fact in Australia (1900-20) resulting in a 1000 deaths, mostly in Sydney, and again in the form of several small outbreaks in California in more recent years. Furthermore, both organisms reproduce and spread rapidly in a receptive host environment; both are enzootic, persistent and highly infectious and both can erupt unexpectedly from deep, global reservoirs of that infection.]
|7.||From “England, arise” — by Juliet Barker — Little, Brown 2014.
Essentially workers, particularly agricultural workers, began to demand more rights, rewards and freedoms in return for their labours and, thanks to the Death, it was a sellers’ market. There was strong resistance of course; what was left of the ruling classes and then their successors wanted none of it. Many of the passive acts carried out by those demanding this change, together with some acts of open and bloody rebellion (The Great Revolt, aka the Peasant’s Revolt, of 1381 for example) were all bloodily suppressed, but there was slow, inexorable progress and the end result of all this was regeneration, the construction of a New Order, a new way of thinking about and organising human affairs. It was in fact the painful birth of capitalism which, in the due course of time, completely replaced feudalism. Except, that is, in the lands of the Prophet, where it exists to this day, albeit partially obscured by oil wealth.
But, and it’s a big but, in the context our current times has not capitalism metamorphosed into neo-feudalism, a modern form of that ancien regime? Does capitalism’s global reach and domination transform us all into the new Serfs? Are we not daily beset by strident demands that we meet the obligations capitalism and its prime beneficiaries force upon us? Are we not blindly obedient to the rules of this new order without actually comprehending it is but our descent back into serfdom?
(And, no, I am not suggesting that Communism and its cretinous spawn, Marxist-Socialism, are an option either!)
One way of looking at catastrophic events is to view them not as a matrix of singular events existing in a two-dimensional grid but as a nest of Russian Dolls, a three dimensional entity where the first and greatest encompasses the next and then on down to the final one. Hence in this analysis I am only going to examine the finished product, so to speak, but that has left me with the problem of finding a suitable starting point.
All such momentous start points may be regarded as ‘Black Swan’ events, unforeseen happenings that appear out of nowhere. Who for example would have conceived that our governments would promote, and support a mega-influx of barbarians determined to exterminate or enslave us, their own people? Well, at least before the Satanic Verses debacle anyway. Why didn’t that ring a bell with them as it did with so many of us outside of multicultural club? Then again, perhaps it did, but to them it was the tolling of a bell they were hoping to hear because they believed it heralded the coming of the final stage of their grotesque globalisation project.
Whatever… Looking at the underlying chronology of Faye’s predictions it would appear that he indirectly places the beginning of this progression at the start of what he describes as the onset of ‘modernity’— somewhere within that period encompassing the ‘Age of Enlightenment’, which includes the Renaissance, and which commenced in the late 14th century and effectively concluded in the mid-18th. Since then however there have been many significant events that could also serve as starting points — natural disasters, great movements of peoples, huge ideological shifts and wars in Europe and elsewhere and, in the last century, two global conflicts and their aftermaths. However for me to start anywhere beyond the recent would, I’m afraid, be a major task and any dissertation resultant therefrom would go far beyond the finite restraints of one short essay. So, for the purposes of illustration only, I have chosen to select as my starting point the global financial crash of 2008.
The 80/20 hypothesis.
Some students of Chaos Theory use a ‘power law’ to describe the catastrophic events preceding chaos, charting the shape of its progress from convergence onward. Essentially this hypothesis proposes that 20% of the downward descent takes place during the first 80% of its timeline, and the balance of 80% accelerates through the last 20% to conclusion — in the end it all happens very quickly. Today, because of global population density and an almost instantaneous ‘knock on’ effect enabled by modern communication systems and modern weaponry, the final stages of the descent will be a tumultuous ride…
|Global Financial Crisis||→ x ←||Islam/mass immigration|
…and I have come to believe that we in Europe and the West now need to look very closely at the turning point in the graph of the (inverse) Pareto distribution (aka the 80/20 power law) below. By my analysis, for what it’s worth, from that turning point on we will have roughly two years to the end of days.
Finally, based on the above model, and assuming it is correct, we should not be surprised if the turning point, another Black Swan event, occurs during the last three months of this year or the first three of next.
Clytemnestra: “Shall I call this happy news, or dreadful but profitable? Hapless am I, that I save my life at the cost of my own miseries.”
Sophocles — from ‘Electra’, his later treatment of the story of the revenge of Orestes as dramatized earlier by Aeschylus in his ‘Oresteia’.
Somewhat as I suspect Faye did when he had completed Convergence, I sat finally sat back and read through this essay. I found myself deeply disturbed by the enormity of it all.
Should you the reader so be taken, I can offer little other than to suggest that you just write it off as no more than another example of my penchant for outrageous hyperbole, an ill-conceived example of reductio ad absurdum.
Alternatively, of course, you could pray that I am wrong. There is really nothing else that I can think of that would help.
— Seneca III, Middle England, August 6th 2015.
For links to previous essays by Seneca III, see the Seneca III Archives.